The Azure Aurochs of Antioch 3

When the greatest fear of our forefathers was realized, when the eventual ruination of the planet Earth had occurred then the race to colonize other planets was truly on. Some may proclaim it was too late, I wouldn’t know, that is largely ancient history now and the human race is once again prosperous and numerous. Spread throughout this galaxy and even a few others we live now under the gaze of many different suns, we have changed in so many ways, and the question ‘what is it to be human’ no longer matters, it has been answered. We are a social species not that different from other species we have met, rather warlike and violent, and it is this inherent violence that I now concern myself with.

There exists on Antioch 3 a giant species of blue cattle, they are native to that small planet, they stand twelve feet at the shoulder and have horns six feet in length and three feet apart, they are by all accounts very hard to hunt, but Wenderson Dimis and his younger brother James were the very first to try.

We landed just as the sun set, and setup camp quickly, man the noise down here is amazing, it’s like a cacophony of the outlandish, and in truth that is just what it is. So many new sounds, some small some loud. Just a few seconds ago this weird insect flew right by my ear, dude it was just like a fox crying in the night, you know what I mean, like some drunk bloke attacking his wife after the pub shuts. It scared poor Jimmy witless, hahah man you should have seen him jump. Okay bed now, the hunt begins in the morning.

When morning broke, it was glorious, have you ever seen an azure sun? It is well, breathtaking, no I mean that quite literally. We left the tent the warmth was enjoyable even though it was still early, and then when Jimmy looked up, I could hear his breath catch, I turned to him and he just pointed up. Fuck me, I’ll never forget that sight, not as long as I live, I could describe it but wait until you see the pictures, my words are inadequate, they’ll never do justice to it.

We stood there just taking it all in, and that is when we heard it. A low deep rumble, just about in our natural range of hearing, but the feel of it was kinda intense. We couldn’t tell what direction it came from nor how far away it was, but Jimmy was quick off the mark, he darted back into the tent and was out again with the tracker in his hand before the noise abated.

“About three miles East-ish bruv”
“Okay James, lets’ grab the kit and get after it”

According to the tracker it was stationary, but we didn’t think it would be so for long, so we started loping after it. Loping, to lope, it’s a way of moving fast and conserving energy that we seasoned hunters use, long easy strides, we were both good at it and it just eats up the miles. It took us about 6 minutes to make it to the half way mark and then the thing moved, quickly, very fucking quickly.

“Damn it, it’s just gone, it was there and now it.. it’s just gone”
“Jim, it has to be somewhere, re-calibrate and do another scan”

It took Jimmy about three seconds to do that, I don’t really get that tech stuff, luck we have a Jimmy in the family really, he’s a natural at that kinda stuff.

“Yep got it Wend, what, it’s at the camp?”
“Same one, same beast?”
“I can’t be sure, hold on…no.. no a different one”

Now that’s strange, these trackers are top of the line, even if it was a new animal back at camp where did the other one go to, it just dropped off the scope. We turned around and started back, Jimmy keeping one eye on the tracker and one eye on the green plain stretching out ahead. He urged me to slow down, the beast had not moved, it was snuffling around our camp, but it was still there, we crouched low, got the guns ready and crept up towards the thing. It was a giant alright, just like a cow but massive with a shifting blue purple colour, easy to spot amongst the green grass of the plain.

Just then that low rumble started again, but more of them, I could hear the tracker pinking like crazy and Jimmy confirmed it.

“Multiples just popped up all over the place, from out of nowhere what the fuck is going on?, I don’t believe it, we are surrounded”

We were surrounded, as we scanned the horizon dozens of bovine forms could be seen rising, had they been crouching there all along? No the tracker would have seen them.

The one in camp, started to move slowly towards us, it’s gait was cautious, it’s great head bobbing up and down in time with it’s slow tread almost bowing, nodding. It stopped not 2 yards from where we stood, Jimmy raised his rifle, and in a blur he was gone, just gone, a little pool of blood where he had knelt and a faint impression in the bowed grass.

The rumble came again, increasing in loudness, I dropped my weapon and clasped my hands over my ears and suddenly the pitch changed and I heard a voice speaking to me in my head.

“Human, we are not for the hunt, we shall keep your kin, it is safe for now”

That is how I became the envoy for humanity on the planet of the Aurochs.

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Lee Douglas

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